Meet the Mushrooms: Morels

We have expanded our mushroom offerings at dartagnan.com to include some of our chef favorites. While organic cultivated mushrooms make up the majority of our catalog, we also offer wild-foraged mushrooms in season. These fresh mushrooms are sure to find their way into many of your cooking adventures.

Morel Mushrooms

morel-mushroom-closeup

Morel is the common name for Morchella esculenta, a distinctive wild mushroom that is found around the world. Widely distributed in North America, the morel is especially common in eastern states and the Midwest.

The first morels herald the arrival of spring, usually in late March. We follow the season around the world, and import morels when the U.S. supply does not meet demands. Morels can be found in spring and throughout the summer, but as with all wild mushrooms, much depends on the weather. If it’s a rainy spring, morels that have grown will be ruined by excessive moisture. Temperature and sunlight are also important factors in the development of morels.

Found around the world, morels are a forager’s favorite. You may even spot the distinctive honeycomb cap of the morel on the forest floor while hiking. Beware of the false morel, which is toxic. Be sure to ask a mushroom expert, or refer to a mushroom guide, before eating any mushrooms you find in the wild.

Cooking Morel Mushrooms

Do not eat morels raw. With small morels, fry or cook mushrooms whole. Larger morels should be sliced in half, or fourths, before cooking. The nutty, meaty taste of the morel is complemented best by butter and cream, so sauté briefly in butter and finish with light or heavy cream. White wine can be used to great effect with this unique mushroom. Morels are wonderful with chicken, rabbit, veal or pork. But most will agree that fresh morels will make any meal just a little more exciting.

Try morels in risotto, pasta, or orzo, as we did in the springtime recipe pictured below.

orzo-with-bacon-morels-fava-beans-recipe

Try some of our mushroom recipes, or invent new ones to showcase these extraordinary mushrooms. Learn more about cleaning and storing morels on our website.

Fun Fungi Fact: Morels feed on dead vegetation, and thrive in a forest that has experienced fire, be it a controlled burn or wildfire. Called “burn morels,” these are some of the most valuable morels.

Shop for morels here.

Cooking with D’Artagnan mushrooms? Share photos with us on social media! Tag @dartagnanfoods on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s